Buscar Close Search
Buscar Close Search
Page Menu

Lab News

Congratulations and Best Wishes to Peter!!!

 Peter 2023.jpg

I am happy to announce that I have decided to attend Duke University to complete my PhD in Pharmacology this August!! I am extremely appreciative of the time I spent here at UMass, and would not have reached this achievement without the experiences and friendships I gained through the Munson Lab and our department. Although I will be unfortunately leaving the lab, I will always remember and cherish the people I have met and the temporary roots they helped me grow here in Massachusetts.

Congratulations to Leonora for starting her new position as Senior Program Manager for Outreach, in the BMB Dept!

 Cell LMN_04 water mark-01 250.jpg

We are so excited to see Leonora in this new role that combines her strong talents for science, illustration, and communication!

Check our Leonora's illustrations!

Congratulations to Dr. Mike Feyder!!

 mike defense 2023.jpg

Cheers to Mike for successfully defending his PhD thesis on January 9th, 2023!

Mary Elected Fellow of the American Society for Cell Biology

Proud to join this group of outstanding scientists, educators, mentors and DEI leaders as a Fellow of the American Society for Cell Biology!

See all the ASCB Fellows!

Mary Munson receives the 2022 Chancellor's Award

At the MLK tribute, Mary received the 2022 Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion.

Read the UMassMedNews article

Mary Munson presented with Faculty Award

 Outstanding Faculty Award to Mary Munson 375.jpg

On Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at the UMass Chan Educational Recognition Awards, Dr. Mary Ellen Lane, dean of the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, presented a Faculty Award to Mary Munson, PhD - for outstanding contributions in the lecture and classroom setting. Congratulations!

Read the UMassMedNews article

Welcome Baby Avery!

 Baby Avery.png

The Munson lab welcomes our newest addition, who was born on March 26th, 2021. Avery and her mom, Jen Forcina, are doing well (as is her dad Chris)! We look forward to meeting you, Avery!

Mary Munson co-directs project to enhance diversity in biomedical sciences workforce


Mary Munson is co-directing a first-of-its-kind national program to enhance diversity in the academic biomedical workforce, funded by a $1.3 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to create skills development workshops, mentor training opportunities and institutional culture-change initiatives at universities.

Read the story in UMassMedNews

Welcome Brenda Thomas to the Munson Lab!

 Brenda 300.jpg

July 2020: We are excited to have Brenda Thomas join the Munson-Newburger teams to investigate VPS45 mutants and their role in severe congenital neutropenia!

 Protein Science.png

May 2020: Mary guest edits May 19 Issue of Protein Science, entitled “Cellular Dynamics”. 

New joint NIH R21 grant in collaboration with Vanderbilt's Macara Lab

 Munson Macara 250.png

May 2020: The Munson lab received a new joint NIH R21 grant from NINDS in collaboration with Dr. Ian Macara’s lab at Vanderbilt, entitled “New Mouse Models to Investigate Neurological Defects Caused by Exocyst Mutations”.

Welcome Brittany Jette to the Munson Lab

 Jette 250.png

May 2020: The Munson lab extends a virtual welcome to our newest WPI undergraduate Brittany Jette, and congratulates her on receiving an NIH summer undergraduate supplement for her work!

Brittany is investigating a variety of reported disease-associated mutations in the exocyst complex, and plans to test the function (or dysfunction) of several of these in yeast, once she is able to join the lab in person!

Munson lab awarded joint R01 with the Newburger lab

 Munson Newburger 250.png

April 2020: The Munson and Newburger labs have been awarded a joint R01 from the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for their study of the molecular mechanisms of a rare severe congenital neutropenia caused by mutations in the endosomal regulatory protein VPS45. These studies are a powerful combination of in vitro biochemistry, genetics, cell biology and in vivo mouse models of the disease.

Munson Lab hosts Dr. Tae-Young Yoon

 Yoon Tae-Young 200.png

April 2020: The Munson lab is pleased to host Dr. Tae-Young Yoon, an Associate Professor at Seoul National University in South Korea, during his sabbatical year. Dr. Yoon and his lab have been collaborating with us on the biochemistry, biophysics and cell biology on single-molecule characterization of the exocyst and membrane fusion. These studies are being complemented by cell biology and genetic data in yeast and cells from other model organisms, and are fundamental to understanding how cells grow, divide and communicate with each other, and how defects may potentially lead to cancers, neurological dysfunction and/or developmental problems.

 sarah talk3cr.jpg

Feb 2020:  So much fun to have Sarah Cleveland rotate in the lab! Great talk and celebration of our new grant with the lab and other colleagues!

 Shawn Egri rotation talk 2019cr.jpg

November 2019:  Awesome rotation talk presented by Shawn Egri!
(maybe next time we will figure out the right construct for him to use…)

 Figueroa 2.jpg

November 2019:  The Munson lab is pleased to host Alfredo Figueroa Meléndez as a visiting graduate student from the Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education at Ensenada (CICESE) in Baja California, Mexico. Alfredo was awarded a Promoting Research Opportunities for Latin American Biochemists program, or PROLAB, fellowship through the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), the Pan-American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the International Union for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (12 young scientists win PROLAB awards). He plans to advance the research of Dr. Riquelme's Lab regarding the biochemistry and structure of the exocyst complex from the fungus Neurospora crassa during his time here (https://usuario.cicese.mx/~riquelme/) . Congratulations Alfredo and welcome to the lab!  

 Congrats dinner for Alex and Stephen 2019.jpg

August 2019:  Congratulations and best wishes dinner for Alex and Stephen


August 2019:  Congrats to Camille and Alex on their summer research presentations!

Intern Presentations

 Ayo Camille Jacky.jpg

July 2019:  Fabulous to have Ayo, Camille and Jacky in lab this summer!

 Dante - Retreat.jpg

June 2019:  Dante (and his beard) presents the latest exocyst research at the joint UMass Chan-UMass Amherst Biochemistry Retreat. Congrats to all for a terrific day of science and networking.


May 2019: Congratulations to Jacqueline Forson who was recently granted an NIH Diversity Supplement from NIGMS based on a Munson Lab currently funded R01 project!

Kristyn NorrisMay 2019: Congratulations to Kristyn Norris who has been selected to receive a student community service award to be presented at the 2019 Student Awards Ceremony!

Alex CzuchraAlex Czuchra Alex CzuchraStephen Foley

April 2019:  Congratulations to Alex Czuchra and Stephen Foley on their excellent MQPs and posters of their research!

 MF QE 2019.jpg

March 2019:  Woo Hoo to Mike Feyder for passing his qualifying exam! Congrats! Looking forward to some cool exocyst data soon!

 holiday party 2018.jpg

Dec 2018: Welcome to our new postdoc, Jen Forcina, and happy holidays!

 crystal shan rotation 2018 (003).jpg

Sept 2018: Excited to have Crystal Shan rotating with us now!


Sept 2018: An enthusiastic welcome to Mike Feyder, who officially joined the lab as a graduate student!


Sept 2018:  Very pleased to announce that we received official notice of award for our exocyst NIH R01 grant renewal!! Four more years! Keep rockin' on, Munson lab!

August 2018—Congrats to Kristyn, who has just been appointed a pre-doctoral fellow position on the NIH Innate Immunity T32 training grant!


August 3, 2018: Congratulations to Alex, for a terrific presentation of his summer research!

 Group Photo_Focused Symposium on Molecular Mechanisms of Membrane Trafficking_cr.jpg

Mary co-organized the "Molecular Mechanisms of Membrane Trafficking" conference in Seoul, South Korea, on May 17-19. Mary and Dante had a fabulous trip and learned a lot! 

 Qualifying Exam Kristyn Norris.jpg

May 7, 2018: Congratulations to our newest PhD candidate, Kristyn Norris, on passing her qualifying exam! Looking forward to many exciting successes to come!

Mary presented the 2018 Division of Biosciences Patricia Clarke Lecture at University College London in January 2018.

Mary had the honor of serving as a Visiting Scholar at Duquesne University in September, and it was a lot of fun and good science!